Saturday, April 20, 2019

T-Dubing along the Shelf Road from Cripple Creek to Cañon City

Today Yagi and I rode over to Cripple Creek using part of the Gold Belt Tour Road system, using CO9 to CR11 ending up in Cripple Creek where we got onto the Shelf Road aka Teller County 88.

But first, some pictures of the sunrise I woke up to, not too shabby:

The northern part of the Shelf Road is a bit of a twisty roller coaster, narrow dirt road, steep hills and lots of blind curves with careening cagers speeding their way through the area.  It pays to stay alert.

 A lovely view of far off peaks near Cripple Creek

 The rock formations on the Shelf Road are much more
scenic than the ones on Phantom Canyon Road IMHO

 It's been several years since I've been on this road, 
and the Eye of the Needle ridge is quite the sight.

 The other side of the Eye of the Needle Ridge.

The following pictures illustrate why they call this road the Shelf Road.  Once you cross over Wilson Creek, you gain some altitude and the valley floor drops off very fast giving you these views:

At the end of the Shelf Road, the road becomes Red Canyon Road and one comes to the Shelf Road Recreation Area, a BLM campground with decent cellular data coverage. 

Further on down the Red Canyon Road, you come to another BLM site, Oil Well Flats.  The entrance is a bit tricky for a long RV but I think Umarang could do it.  There were a couple of wide camp sites with decent signal as well and the road into the area was better than what I drive to get into the Penrose camping site!

 The view from one of the campsites at Oil Well Flats BLM

After three turns or so, you end up in Cañon City's 15th street that you can take all the way to US50.  

Fire Station Mascot?

Once on US50, it was 3rd street all the way back to the Penrose BLM area to avoid the higher speed traffic on US50.  Boy my butt was feeling it after almost 5 hours of sitting on Yagi's seat; and that's with a Maddog ATV seat cushion on top!

Still, a good day of riding.  The Shelf Road is not in as good a shape as Phantom Canyon Road but its quite Uralable, so a piece of cake for Yagi.


Steve Williams said...

Sunrise photos look like magic. Haven't seen anything like that around here for a long time. I need to get out more.

How often do you need the fuel in the extra tank you carry? I was wondering about that and the seat on the TW200. Keep looking at that bike, the Honda CRF250L, the BMW 310GS (ouch$$$) and the Yamaha XT250. All small and light. But those big tires have me hooked at the moment.

The ride looked great. Sitting here eating a bowl of Cheerios I just feel envy.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Steve, I’m getting about 80-90 mpg so far but the tank is 1.8 gallons capacity. Today I had the can because I wasn’t sure on the route and had gone to reserve yesterday. So I refilled the main tank, and didn’t bother returning to camp before heading to Cripple Creek.

The fat tires are great. The front is a trials tire as the stock tire ( known as death wing) apparently sucks. Not many choices for the rear but the stock tire is held in good regard in the t-dub community online.

One can buy an aftermarket tank to increase capacity but I’m not sure I’ll be going that way.

Steve Williams said...

Thanks for the information about tank and tires. A neighbor up the street has a T-Dub. Haven't seen him ride it in a long time. Maybe it's time for a conversation.

SonjaM said...

The mountain range glowing in the morning sun (8284) is definitely my favourite, Dom. I definitely like the composition with Yagi and the needle ridge, too.

Do you carry a tracking device along in case something happened and you'd need help?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, the only time I’ve carried such a device was during the AK ride back in 2013. There’s enough people usually on same road to ask for help. It’s getting quite crowded at times, here in the Stoner State.

redlegsrides said...

I could see you on T-Dub, then you and Kim coming out west to ride in the Rockies....

Trobairitz said...

You found a perfect Yagi location. The TWs love those types of gravel/dirt roads. And a beautiful sunrise too!

redlegsrides said...

Indeed they do Trobairitz, today thouyfoubd a rock strewn hill, oh so steep, that it kicked my butt....still no injuries and am sure it was lack of skill and throttle on my part.

CCjon said...

Looks like you and Yagi are finding new roads to explore????
Great photos too. well done.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon. Yep, Yagi and I are getting to know each other. Yesterday we found a really steep rock-strewn hill that kicked our butts. I believe it was mostly my fault, not enough throttle or skill. Still, no one hurt and just some scratches on the left side mirror and hand guard.

She was "light enough" to pick up though on the hill, though it was interesting getting her going again. It would have been impossible on the ural and I would have had to ride back down the hill for another running start.